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Date: Tue 06 Apr, 2004 at 10:16
Headline: Extracurricular Activities, part 2
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Greetings & Salutations!

There are many local bands that I have been meaning to check out for one reason or another, and last week I finally was able to get out and see at least a couple of them.

Guitarist Mike Thiriot and I met a little over a year ago, but my attempts to catch his bandCOLD FIRE over the past few months have been thwarted by nasty weather. Now that the Winter That Wouldn't End has finally ended, I was able to drive up to Plan B in Park City and take in their RUSH tribute show. Of course, I was also particularly curious about this show because our own Matt Meldrum was making his debut with the band, playing keyboards. What made it doubly interesting was that the band's bass player was not able to make it back into town soon enough to play the gig, and Matt ended up filling in on bass as well at the last minute, resulting in a show that was a little more authentically RUSH-esque than a 5-piece band would have been. There was undoubtedly some nervous energy in performance, but I thought it came off rather well. Very tight playing for the most part, and the sound was definitely there. Vocalist Will Cooper not only hits all of the ridiculously high notes for Geddy Lee is notorious, but also manages to pull off a good impression of his tone and accent. Mike's chops impressed me immensely. Though later he remarked that he felt he was nailing the tough parts and flubbing the easy ones (I know how that goes), it wasn't terribly noticeable IMHO. Drummer Russ Lundberg was in the zone as well, and Matt...well, it was Matt. Even having to cheat through some parts he didn't quite have down yet (like the fills in 'YYZ'), the guy rocked our socks off, of course. I was impressed, proud, and insanely jealous all at once. As I was later asked, "..is there anything he can't do?" :)

Unfortunately, my efforts to see ACHILLES LAST STAND were for naught due to a booking snafu at The Barbary Coast. It was to be the Ogden-based Zeppelin tribute band's Salt Lake debut, and I feel bad that it didn't work out quite the way they had planned, but I will definitely make apoint of getting out to see them next time they're in town.

Finally, I returned once again to The Filling Station in Magna to check out CRAZY RED, a new project for my old cohorts John Clark and Ray Opheikens. It's essentially the same cover band concept as JUPITER, with a few changes in repertoire and personnel. They played a number of songs with sequenced keyboards, and I thought it worked well. Their new vocalist is great, especially on the R&B tunes, and the band seemed to be having a really good time on stage. They're already getting booked quite a bit, so I hope to catch them again sometime soon.

...and what's going on in SoNWorld, I hear you cry? Well, we are still concentrating on writing new tunes at the moment, but we plan to return to the stage very soon, both with said new tunes and the FloydShow in tow. Details coming soon...

bye for now,
-Thom